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SPEC to Premier: Come Clean on Gateway

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Gateway Message

Photo by Rob Baxter

Activists use “reverse graffiti” etched in grime on freeway overpasses, transit hubs and pedestrian walks to pressure for change in priorities

April 14, 2008

Vancouver- Morning commuters were asked to call upon Premier Gordon Campbell to finally come clean on the Gateway Program and make transit expansion a priority over freeway expansion through the use of a guerrilla marketting technique called “reverse graffiti”.

“Gordon Campbell must come clean on Gateway and admit that it is a glaring inconsistency in our climate change era,” said David Fields. ” The end of cheap oil and an American recession further undermines the rationale for a massive road and bridge building mega project. Gordon Campbell can truly be a first mover on climate change by making transit expansion a priority over Gateway.”

Back in 2004, the provincial government decided to build the Gateway Program, a $7 billion mega-project that will expand and build new freeways, twin the Port Mann Bridge and enable a tripling of port capacity in Delta. Since then, Premier Gordon Campbell has changed his tune on climate change by legislating a 33% reduction in BC’s global warming emissions by 2020. To this end, a carbon tax and a $14 billion transit investment by 2030 have been introduced but these measures and others under consideration are still not enough to meet the target. Despite this, the Premier has so far failed to admit the inconsistencies posed by the Gateway Program when even a provincial government study has shown that emissions will increase. Metro Vancouver and Environment Canada have said that emissions could be even worse because of potential land-use impacts the provincial study ignored.

The standard model used in the government study did not ask the basic questions that people ask themselves: “Where will I live?” and “Where will I start my business?” If the model didn’t ask the same questions people do then clearly it isn’t good enough. There is not a single example of a freeway reducing traffic congestion or reducing sprawl- the opposite is apparent wherever you look. A local example is the Alex Fraser Bridge. A 2% increase in traffic was expected, based upon population projections. However, unanticipated development brought on by the new bridge has resulted in a traffic increase 41% above projections. Regional developers know full well the impacts of freeway building and released a report in 2006 called “The Gateway Effect” that anticipates “explosive growth” in the Fraser Valley. Given that 85% of the Highways Minister’s election funding has come from developers and road builders, it would appear that he is likewise aware but won’t admit it publicly.

“The Gateway Program is outdated and out of touch with modern realities. To move forward with freeway expansion in its current form is merely another kind of climate change denial. The evidence shows that Gateway is more spin than span and a re-think of our approach on transportation in the region is overdue,” Fields said.

Electric pressure washers and stencils were used to etch the slogans “Gordo, Come Clean on Gateway” and “Transit First” into the grime on sidewalks and freeway overpasses.


This release is accompanied by the document “Top Ten Myths of the Gateway Program”

For more information, please contact:

David Fields, Campaigner with SPEC, 604-722-4775

Written by Stephen Rees

April 14, 2008 at 8:20 am

Posted in Gateway

2 Responses

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  1. the part about who the donaters to the bc liberals just about says it all —–its what I have been saying -gordo (the gargler) has never done the right thing —-its always been about bribes!—-“who the hell needs sandpiper birds————who needs salmon—or marmots–or bears or anything!” all the gargler cares about is (jon les types ) and property transfer fees — the gargler is an arrogant donkey–he doesn`t give a darn about bcers—-campbell believes that you smucks and voters and cattle are too stupid to see thru campbell`s spin ——and if you believe ipsos reid polling,than campbell is right! signed………………………………………………have you had anything to drink tonight gargler campbell

    grant g

    April 14, 2008 at 11:23 am

  2. […] in 2008 activists received lots of attention when they used pressure washers to etch the slogans “Gordo, Come Clean on Gateway” and […]

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